Buying a tablet: 8 questions to ask

Buying a tablet

Buying a tablet can be overwhelming. There are so many different brands, specs, and features to consider. With this blog post, I help you find the best tablet for your needs by answering eight questions to guide you in the right direction!

1. What to look for when buying a tablet?

First, I will list some buying criteria and then go more into details later.

Screen size
Additional hardware
Apps with special requirements
Online access

2. What is your budget for buying a tablet?

The price range is vast; you can buy tablets for under $100 or over $1000. The low-cost tablets for $100 are mainly no-name tablets from China. They are cheaply manufactured and won’t last long. Break quicker due to their poor quality construction materials such as plastic screens that scratch easily, low-grade batteries with shorter life spans, etc. I wouldn’t recommend them. Selecting a well-built tablet is an essential factor when buying a tablet.

The high-end tablets for $1000 are usually the best quality and will last a long time. They have better screens, more powerful processors with longer battery life, etc. However, it’s the price range where a laptop could be a better choice.

I recommend setting a budget and doing some research on what’s available in your price range.

3. What size screen do you prefer?

The size of the screen will depend on what you want to use on your tablet. If it is just going to be used as a device that can browse online or answering emails, something smaller like an iPad Mini or Kindle Fire could suffice. But if you mainly need to have access while traveling and need more space, such as Microsoft Surface Pro 12″ tablet might suit you better! The most common sizes range from around 8.9 inches up to 13inches in length, which may not seem much different. However, when comparing them side-by-side, there’s quite a noticeable difference between these two screens regarding their viewing area. It all depends on how big one wants this display surface compared against other factors too.

A bigger screen doesn’t necessarily mean that the tablet is heavier. A bigger screen might be bulkier to hold, though
I recommend buying a tablet with at least a 9.8-inch screen size. It’s the standard size for a tablet.

4. How much storage do you need?

You need storage if you are a photographer, a gamer, or someone who likes to download movies.

The storage is usually measured in gigabytes (GB), and the higher number of GBs you have means more space for your files – so if that’s what matters most, then get as much memory capacity as possible!

However, if you need storage, this will increase the cost of the tablet. Alternatively, if the tablet has a memory slot, you could buy a memory card which may be cheaper than choosing a tablet model with more storage.

Some newer models have a USB-C connector that connects an external hard drive like a WD Drive, but you need to carry around an extra item.

I recommend having a good thought for what purpose you are buying a tablet.

5. Do you want a tablet with a built-in keyboard or one that can connect to an external keyboard?

The keyboard is an important factor when it comes to productivity. A tablet with a built-in keyboard might be more practical for typing long texts or emails, but not so much if you want the device mainly for entertainment (movies). A detachable external Bluetooth Keyboard can also work well and has its advantages.

There is a wide choice of keyboard available. It’s not necessary to buy the keyboard from the tablet manufacturer. A popular brand for tablet keyboards is Logitech. Logitech has a diverse keyboard selection with some good choices for Apple and Samsung tablets.

I recommend buying the keyboard later when you require it. From personal experience, people often buy a keyboard with a tablet; however, after they find out that there is no need for one.

6. Do you want the tablet for work or leisure?

If you need a tablet for work or leisure, you need to answer before buying the tablet. It will help determine what features are important for your needs and which ones can be left out of consideration. If you are buying a tablet for work, you will want to consider battery life and processing power. Most likely, you should take a tablet offering with a keyboard for easy writing. You may also consider a stylus.

If you work for a bigger company, you should first consult your IT department. They might have some policies in place which narrow down the tablet choices. Please don’t make a mistake buying a tablet and then find out that your company will not let you use it.

For work, I recommend the Surface tablets from Microsoft. They have Windows 10 installed, and you could connect the tablet to the company network if needed.

If you are buying the tablet for leisure, you may want to consider enough storage to hold videos and photos. It would help if you also consider a tablet with an HDMI port to attach it directly to your TV for easy viewing of content. It’s nice when traveling to hook up the tablet to the hotel room TV and play your content. If the tablet has no HDMI connector, buy an external USB/USB-C to HDMI adapter. They cost not much.

For leisure, I recommend an iPad Air or a Samsung Galaxy tablet.

iPad Air 4th Generation

Samsung Galaxy Tab S4

Highlighted Features
  • Stunning 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display with True Tone and P3 wide color
  • A14 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • Touch ID for secure authentication and Apple Pay
  • 12MP back camera, 7MP FaceTime HD front camera
  • Available in Silver, Space Gray, Rose Gold, Green, and Sky Blue
  • Wide stereo audio
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Up to 10 hours of battery life
  • USB-C connector for charging and accessories
  • Support for Magic Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, and Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

Amazon Fire 10 Kids Edition

Highlighted Features
  • Save up to $99 on a full-featured Fire HD 10 tablet (not a toy), 1 year of Amazon Kids+ (FreeTime Unlimited), a Kid-Proof Case with built-in stand, and 2-year worry-free guarantee ─ versus items purchased separately.
  • 2-year worry-free guarantee: if it breaks, return it and we'll replace it for free.
  • The included 1 year of Amazon Kids+ gives your kids access to over 20,000 apps, games, books, videos, Audible books, and educational content from PBS Kids, Nickelodeon, Disney, and more. Your subscription will then automatically renew every month starting at just $2.99 per month plus applicable tax. You may cancel at any time by visiting the Amazon Parent Dashboard or contacting Customer Service.
  • Over 20 million kids (and their parents) have enjoyed the award-winning Amazon Kids (FreeTime) service. Amazon Kids parental controls allow you to set educational goals, create time limits, and filter content.
  • Parents can give kids access to more apps like Netflix, Minecraft, and Zoom via the Amazon Parent Dashboard.
  • Stream through Wi-Fi or view downloaded content on the go with 32 GB of internal storage and up to 12 hours of reading, browsing the web, watching video, and listening to music. Add a microSD card for up to 512 GB of additional storage.
  • Amazon Kids+ includes thousands of Spanish language books, videos, apps, games, and Audible books.
  • Now with USB-C and faster charging. Includes a USB-C cable & 9W power adapter in the box.

If you are buying the tablet for your child, I recommend a kid-friendly case and parental controls. The Amazon Fire Kids edition would be a good fit.

7. Do you plan on using any apps that require special features like pressure sensitivity or stylus support? If so, what are they, and which tablets have those features available in your price range?

A stylus is a terrific tool and highly recommended for drawing or retouching photos. You can also use a stylus to take notes, which is a great way to make handwritten content on the go.

However, they are usually expensive, or the cheap ones are a waste of money. Here are some stylus choices.

A requirement to have a good stylus for your tablet certainly narrows down the tablet choice to Apple or Samsung.

I recommend the Apple Pencil for those who need a stylus. The iPad Pro is also compatible with it and has pressure sensitivity, which allows you to create more natural-looking drawings or retouching photos in apps like Adobe Photoshop.

8. Online access

Online access is a significant factor to consider when buying your tablet.

If you have an iPhone, then I recommend a tablet from Apple. You will be able to synchronize them using the iCloud service between your phone and Apple iPad. The same applies when you have a MAC computer.

Consequently, if you have an Android phone, then I would recommend a tablet from Samsung. You will be able to synchronize them using the Google Drive service.

It’s best to stay in the same world, easier to use in my opinion.

Another important question to ask, do I need online access everywhere? If the answer is yes you might choose a tablet with cellular access. But then you need a SIM or eSIM from your mobile phone provider. Ask your provider if they have a duo SIM card for your phone plan. Sometimes it is already included in your plan or has a minimal extra monthly charge. I believe in most cases cellular access is not needed except for work purposes.

Some thoughts

The most popular tablets are from Apple or Samsung. For sure, you cannot go wrong with them. Apples sell iPad with a wide range of prices and features. Samsung sells Galaxy Tab tablets with a variety and is usually a bit less pricey than Apple iPad tablets.

I use tablets from Apple and had over the years, various iPads. I read all newsletters on my iPad Pro 12.9inch, which has a perfect size for extending reading. It is also a great device for watching videos.

If you need some assistance with buying a tablet, I’m happy to help. Send me a message on my Facebook page Edysdeals.

Full Disclosure

Any purchases made from clicks on links to products on this page may result in an affiliate commission for me.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
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